SAN ANTONIO – A public charter school in San Antonio is encouraging students to build a strong character.
While Athlos Leadership Academy holds academics and athletics in high regard, faculty and students said character-building exercises and social interactions help create a safe school environment and prevent bullying.
“Our traits are not just used here at Athlos, but on our day-to-day, right?” said one of the two character coaches. “Everything that is a part of traits here at Athlos, we should be actually doing in the real world.”
The day at Athlos starts by having a discussion on character traits and participating in character-building exercises.
“Because in the morning, you’re going to go throughout your whole day thinking about what you are going to be doing, and how you are going to be using the character traits,” said Justice De La Rosa, an eighth-grade student.
Fellow classmate Darias Smith agrees.
“(It’s) very helpful to me and other students because they keep us out of trouble and keeps us going on the right path,” Darias said.
Alma Garza, an art teacher, said she approves of the character curriculum.
“As long as you are making or striving to make the right choices, they can be successful in any field that you go into,” Garza said. “Whether it’s sports, because they are really into sports. (If) you want to be a lawyer, you have to have integrity, because you have to get the trust of people.”
The traits teach students about leadership, integrity, and how their interactions can affect others.
Justice said that’s what she loves most about her school.
“It was a big change. I mean everyone was really nice to me and no one judges me and no one says, ‘Justice you look horrible.’ No one says that to me,” she said. “Everyone is complimenting me all the time, and I love it so much because it’s such a big change because I know what it’s like to get ridiculed and bullied.”